Bunkered all your golfing needs

Si Woo Kim set to lose two years of career

Si Woo Kim

Despite becoming the youngest Players Championship winner in history and the youngest Asian to achieve two PGA Tour wins, Si Woo Kim is resigned to the fact that he will lose almost two years of his blossoming career.

The 21-year-old, who so impressively kept his cool to triumph at TPC Sawgrass by three strokes from Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen, must complete 21 months of military service as required by the country’s government of all men aged between 18 and 30.

And asked in his post-tournament press conference whether he thought the win in golf’s ‘fifth major’ would give him an exemption of a different kind, he didn’t seem especially hopeful.

“I really wish we could have that benefit,” said Kim, whose only get-out looks to be Olympic success in Tokyo in 2020. “However, regardless of me winning this tournament, I really have to go to the military service, and I've already decided I'm going to go, too, so I'm ready for that.

“I haven't decided yet [when it will be], but I have five years of exemption, so we will see.”

Read more - Si Woo Kim win lands punter a fortune!

Si Woo Kim1

Kim isn’t the first Korean golfer to be caught up in this scenario. While 2009 PGA champion Y.E. Yang and eight-time PGA Tour winner K.J. Choi completed their military requirement before turning professional, the career of 30-year-old two-time PGA Tour winner Sang-Moon Bae has been put on hold.

In late 2014, Bae was involved in political controversy after he tried to claim US residency to get out of military service, only for a South Korean court to later rule that he must fulfill his duties.

After playing in the 2015 Presidents Cup, Bae enrolled in November 2015 and, when his 21 months is completed in August, he is expected to return to the PGA Tour after a special ‘Mandatory Obligation’ exemption category was created.

The same situation is affecting Tottenham Hotspur footballer Heung-Min Son, 24, who can become exempt from military service should he help South Korea to win gold at the 2018 Asian Games.

Bae, meanwhile, has been detailing some of his military activities on Instagram and thankfully, he's still been able to pick up his golf clubs every now and then.

Thank you !! #Cute #Birthday

A post shared by Sangmoon Bae. 배상문 (@sangmoon_bae) on

#고고싱#sangmoonbae

A post shared by Sangmoon Bae. 배상문 (@sangmoon_bae) on

#pgatour#sangmoonbae #beback.

A post shared by Sangmoon Bae. 배상문 (@sangmoon_bae) on

-

Golf News

Tiger Woods' arrest 'a massive scream for help' - Phelps
Tiger Woods

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

Catriona Matthew named 2019 Solheim Cup captain
SOLHEIM CUP

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

REPORT Golf boom: How Scotland's munis are thriving
Archive

By Martin Inglis

Jon Rahm & Pat Perez eye $10m FedEx Cup jackpot
Jon Rahm

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

Fairmont St Andrews set to relaunch after £17m redevelopment
Fairmont St Andrews

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

Other Top Stories

24 of the coolest golf carts ever made
Lists

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

Retired pro shoots 22 strokes below age for world record
Guinness World Record

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

Win a Stewart Golf R1-S push trolley & T5 tour bag
Stewart Golf

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

15 moments that defined Rory McIlroy's career
Rory McIlroy

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

Sergio Garcia halts play for nearly 30mins for ruling
Sergio Garcia

By Bunkered Golf Magazine

Watch Denis Pugh Lessons See all videos right arrow

play button
Releasing the clubhead
Watch
play button
Don’t shorten your swing says Denis Pugh
Watch
play button
Stand taller at address says Denis Pugh
Watch
play button
Generate power with a good hip and shoulder turn
Watch
See all videos right arrow

Join our community
subscribe to our newsletters below